Avon Fishing Pier typically closes for the season on the Sunday after
Thanksgiving, but this year, historic fishing conditions have led to a
week-long extension – and some very happy anglers.
the first couple of days after the annual wintertime closure, the
longtime manager of the pier, Keith Matthews, typically lets some of
the locals fish while he is cleaning up and preparing the pier house
for the winter.
But this year has been a little bit different.
on Monday, the sea mullet began a record bite, and coupled with the
warm weather, the pier quickly found itself shoulder to shoulder with
anglers hauling in hundreds of catches.
sea mullets [that are being caught] are routinely one pound or more,
and people have been catching 200 sea mullets in the span of two or
three hours,” says Joe Thompson, owner of the Avon Fishing Pier.
“People are leaving with entire coolers full – it’s remarkable.”
sea mullet bite continued all week long, and starting on Thursday,
November 30, the big red drum moved in with more than 40 drum landed on
Thursday alone, per the Avon Fishing Pier’s Facebook page.
morning saw the action continue with 17 big reds landed in first couple
of hours of fishing. Most of the drum caught in the past several days
have been in the 40-50 inch range, and as of Friday afternoon, the red
drum tally was hovering around 70 catches total since Thursday.
you have drum bites like this, the weather is [typically] rough, and
the fishing for other species isn’t that good,” says Thompson. “But
yesterday it was slick out, and they were catching thousands of sea
mullet while the guys at the end of the pier were catching four drum at
is Keith’s 27th year at the pier, and he says that he’s never seen this
before. He’s seen some big drum bites, but he’s never seen a drum bite
like this, with other fish getting caught,” he adds.
a couple of days of steady action, and more crowds showing up, Keith
and crew decided to keep the pier open to the public through Sunday,
During this slight extension of the season, fishing passes are also being offered at children’s prices, which is $7 per day.
reports that word is spreading, and anglers are coming to Hatteras
Island from as far away as New Jersey to fish on the Avon Fishing Pier
this week. “The phone has been ringing off the hook,” he says.
with good weather forecast for the rest of the weekend, anglers who
plan a last-minute getaway to Hatteras Island will likely get to join
in the historic action. “We’re expecting the bite to continue,” says
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